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SA security for Lesotho taxis

 

Motsamai Mokotjo

Lesotho taxis ferrying passengers across the border would soon be provided security by the South African government, Public Works and Transport Minister Tšoeu Mokeretla has said.

According to Mr Mokeretla, this resolution was reached at when he met South Africa’s Transport Minister, Dipuo Peters, from 16-17 February in Cape Town. Acting Traffic Commissioner, Motsoaole Lesupi, was part of the Lesotho delegation to that crucial meeting, the minister added.

The consultation followed the harassment of Lesotho taxi-drivers and their passengers by South African public transport operators, each time they crossed the border.

The persecution has also resulted in the destruction of taxis owned by Basotho and assault of their drivers as they ferry passengers into South Africa, despite the law allowing them to do so.

“We agreed that South Africa will provide security to Basotho and their taxis, although the date for the commencement of such deployment was not set,” Mr Mokeretla said.

The minister also indicated that Ms Peters mentioned the issue should be resolved once and for all as it had been allowed to go on for too long.

“She said for the past 16 years, the matter had not been resolved which should not have been the case. However, my issue was about what we should do. I said it’s our time, let us fix the problem and not dwell too much on the past,” Mr Mokeretla said.

“During that meeting, our officials also raised the subject of vandalism that our operators’ vehicles are being subjected to, despite having the necessary documents allowing them to ferry passengers into South Africa. We also mentioned that South African operators are never harassed when they cross into Lesotho, and all this input was noted in that meeting.”

Mr Mokeretla also said there would be follow-up meetings with Ms Peters regarding the issue, beginning 3 March in Maseru.

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